Friday, September 26, 2008

I've been keeping a secret....

Yes, a secret.
A secret of epic proportions!!
(Deep breath and getting all choked up here.) Bill and I are going to be grandparents for the first time!!!! (Joyous tears flow freely now.)
You have no idea how hard it was for me to keep this secret. Okay, so I slipped a couple of times to artist friends I happened to run into personally. And then I did share the news with a salesgirl in Janie and Jack. Well, gee.....I was only sworn to secrecy not to blab to the world until after the first baby appointment. Yesterday was the first baby appointment so now I'm blabbing to the world!!!

Now the fun begins!!

Remember this room? I painted it yellow and green awhile back in hopes that someday it would be a nursery. I even bought some vintage Beatrix Potter prints at an estate sale. It's time for those prints to be framed and for the pink to be scaled back a bit until we know if Brittany and Jeremy will have a boy or a girl. Oh, the fun I'm going to have decorating and helping the kids get their own nursery put together!!

What a magical journey!! Bill and I are soooo excited!!

Happiest of bear hugs, Aleta

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Pink Wednesday WIP!

I've been in the studio designing a doll pattern or two, playing with paper and glue, and even a little mohair bear here and there!! Oh, just look at the projects!!

Why this manic bit of creating? I'm just in the mood to stretch a little bit I think. Take the dolls for example: I designed two of them. One is very simple in design. The other has shoulders and hips and a multi-piece round head. I didn't like the simple doll head so I cut it off and placed a styrofoam ball on top. I think I shall try my hand, Paperclay! I used to sculpt figurines for Enesco so it shouldn't be that hard to sculpt a head! Uh-huh. Right. Ha!

The second little paper and glue project isn't exactly a WIP. It's finished. Actually, they're finished. At least this batch. I made four paper hats and two paper shoes. Sometimes I just have to give my inner kindergartener wings to fly.....or, paper, scissors and make her happy.

I love old photos of children with funny expressions. Especially ones with teddy bears. Go figure! ;o) These particular photos made into fabulous little Glenda the Good witches. One is perhaps a little more mischievous that the rest! Boo!

A fun little project whipped up in a day and each one, one-of-a-kind. The hats are fun to put atop candlesticks or hat stands....or bear heads, for a bit of Halloween fun. The shoe? Well, it's just a bit of folly to prop against something else. I thought I might have a bit of fun with these patterns for the holiday season as well.

Last, but certainly not least, one of my Truly Silly bears. I haven't made one in awhile. They're kind of odd but quite adorable. Neither their eyes or ears on sewn on straight and their smiles are a little lopsided....and they're meant to be that way! I'll be putting the finishing touches on two of them (this one and another) tomorrow!

I've gotten quite a lot accomplished this week!! Pin a rose on my nose!! :o) I hope you're having a productive week as well.

Warmest Pink Wednesday bear hugs, Aleta

Monday, September 22, 2008

Halloween at Monticello and unexpected visitors!

Last week I did a full makeover on my booth at Monticello. I don't have a lot of vintage backstock so this will be a limited run. Probably just another couple of weeks.

After being in Monticello for about two months now, I am beginning to realize that I need a bigger space. Five feet by 10 feet just doesn't allow me to showcase the many furniture pieces we bought for Flourishes without overloading them. We have a four bay garage full of shabby chippy, or as my son refers to it...old and busted, furniture. Perhaps I should just have a ginormous garage sale!!

Look at the unexpected visitors that seem to have taken up residence in our back garden. A male and female peacock seem quite taken with their new surroundings. We have no idea where they came from....or quite what to do with them for that matter.
They are certainly amazing to watch! The female is much more inquisitive than the male. He's quite timid actually. The female comes right up to the patio window and looks right in at my cats. Of course, my the cats would just love to play with these new visitors! Ha!

We also know now that the birds that we saw a few weeks ago that looked like baby turkeys were probably the offspring of these two peacocks. There were five of them running around the garden!

I'm hoping that someone comes looking for these two peacocks soon. We've driven around the neighborhood looking for LOST PEACOCK signs to no avail. We may have to post some FOUND PEACOCK signs instead! Oiy!!

A happy Monday to you!! Warmest bear hugs, Aleta

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Pink Wednesday on Thursday...ooops.

When you work at home it's easy to forget what day of the week it is. Hey now, that's my story and I'm stick'n to it! Ha!

It's been awhile since I actually posted something pink for Pink Wednesday. Here's a pretty good dose of it for you! Vintage pink baby slippers and ballerina tutu, a bear dressed in pink made by Diane Kennedy, Wee Scone Bears - Scotland, and the box that I made in Lisa Kaus's class that I still haven't finished. Hee!

Speaking of Lisa, Bill and I ran into her this past Sunday in one of my favorite shops, the Jealous Gardener, which is located in the Sellwood District of Portland. Perfect timing I'd say! Oh, my, my....the goodies she had with her! I had to take a peek you know. When one of my favorite artists on the planet asks if I want to see what she's been working on lately......well, hello!, I'm not going to say, "No dear. I have to run." Are ya crazy? The long and short of it....Bill and I got a private viewing of Lisa's art right there in the back of her van on 17th Avenue with traffic whizzing by. Just thinking of it makes me giggle! Did I bring anything home? Well, of course.....silly you! The Banker (Bill) was with me! Ha!

Here is one of the pieces. Had to have it. It's my nickname....Queen. For those of you who don't know the story....I was named after Queen Aleta of the Misty Isles from the Prince Valiant series of.........comic strip fame!! Yes, dear hearts, I was named after a comic strip character. :o) As Paul Harvey would say....And now, you know the rest of the story. *smiles*

Warmest Pink Wednesday on Thursday bear hugs, Aleta

Monday, September 15, 2008

The decorating continues!

It's not quite there, but I'm working on it.....a little bit at a time. I should be done on Wednesday. That is, unless I happen upon another little bit of Halloween in a closet somewhere. Oh, that might mean reworking a display! ;o)

I swear, I have things strewn hither and yon. Well, not everything can go in those plastic tubs in the attic you know! Some things are too big. Some things are too fragile. And some things are bought on sale after Halloween and don't quite make it into the color coded black and orange storage tubs. Well you had to have guessed by now (OCD) that my storage tubs were color coded for each season! HA!
Some of my reproduction and old paper pulp pumpkins. I think I might have to rough up the one on the right. Looking at the picture he looks too new, doesn't he? Actually, that one looks like he might rough me up a bit!! ACK!

Now isn't that skull thingie kind of odd? It's actually a vintage bottle stopper cork dealiebob. It's kind of cool. Kind of creepy. My first skull. One is enough I think. I'll stick to paper pumpkins and black cats. :o)
This paper pumpkin has bears in his belfry! He looks a might ticklish!
Check out those pointy shoes! Note to self: I think a bit of shredded book paper needs to be tucked inside to soften all that black. The witch collage is made by Martha Kohley, Vintage Trifles. She makes the most incredible Halloween goodies. Do peek in on her blog if you get a minute.
Rounding out my picture allotment today is the centerpiece of my diningroom least for the moment. I've reworked it three times and I'm still not happy with it. It will get there. Eventually. :o)

Tomorrow, however, I'll be spending the day in the studio working on the design for my space in Monticello. My whole booth there will soon be completely transformed into Halloween!! Black and White and Orange.....OH MY!

It's late.....10pm. Time to call it a day. I hope your day was a great one!

Warmest bear hugs, Aleta

Sunday, September 14, 2008

It's time to decorate for Halloween!

I've spent the last couple of evenings dragging out boxes and boxes of Halloween decorations!! I love decorating this time of year! My normally neutral color palette becomes a tad more bold with the infusion of orange and a lot more black. Over the years I've refined my Halloween to include mostly antique or artist made goodies.
One of my favorite antique things to collect are the Halloween noisemakers. They're still one of the least expensive of the antique bits you can buy. Oh, and they look fabulous filling apothecary jars!
I do buy artist reproduction pieces too, like those by Cody Foster pictured above. Though I prefer the real deal, let's face it, artist Halloween pieces are hard to get their hands on and the prices for the originals are usually beyond my pea size budget. Last year I did splurge a little on a couple pieces from Danita. I'll feature those a little later in the week!
One of the best things about decorating shabby-chippy-neutral is the ability to incorporate my everyday collections into holiday themes. For example, Christine Crocker dolls, with the addition of a color appropriate accessory, meld seamlessly into the rest of my Halloween decor.
One of the most surprising discoveries I've made this year has been the amount of black cats I've collected over time. I had no idea! I grouped three together on a shelf and then kept finding more and more in the boxes. I had to move them all to a larger cabinet! Who knew?!! Here are just a couple of my favorites. These two are made by Eliza Burlison, Burlison Bears. You can find her work on Ebay. Just type Burlison in the search box. :o)

This is just the tip of the Halloween iceberg! I'll post more pictures this week as I get everything in order.

Warmest Sunday bear hugs, Aleta

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Not according to plan.

(sigh) CWAP! I had everything set. Pictures downloaded and uploaded. Descriptions ready. All I had to do was unveil the bears. Easy peasie. NOT!!

(sigh) I think my website hates me. (sniff)

It's all sorted out now but now I feel sick to my stomach that, once again, my website has gotten the best of me and turned me into a raving lunatic. I think I may have to go back to my old format of listing one bear at a time. It's either that or going back to Ebay. Neither of these ideas tickles my fancy because it's a lose/lose for my collectors. On Ebay, with all the associated fees, I would have to raise the price of my bears. Listing one bear at a time creates it's own problems with multiple purchases of the same bear because everyone makes a mad dash for that ONE bear which then creates a negative listing and still shows the bear as available. Confused? Me too.

Don't mind me. I'm just typing out loud and feeling frustrated. I think I shall put this silliness behind me for the day and take a wander over to Monticello. I need to take a few things over and spruce up my booth a bit anyway. Tomorrow morning starts the three day sale and the month long Autumn/Harvest show in the Atrium. I think all the dealers in the mall participate in the sale. Everything in my booth will be 10% off!! Hey now, that's something to smile about!!!

Warmest bear hugs, Aleta

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Pink Wednesday before and after!

The difference between my non-airbrushed bears.....
and bears airbrushed and dressed....ready for listing!! What a difference, huh? Airbrushing creates such depth in the features and really adds character I think.

Before you get too excited about the listings though....the panda is already spoken for. I have a waiting list for my girlie pandas. The other two bears will be listed tomorrow on my website....I hope!! Cross your fingers for no computer gremlins for me, won't you?

Bless you bunches for peeking in on my Pink Wednesday! Warmest bear hugs, Aleta

Monday, September 8, 2008

Coburg Antique Faire

We got up at 5:30am yesterday morning to attend the Coburg Antique Faire. Ridiculous, I know! Especially on a Sunday morning! Well, it takes two hours to get there, so in order to get the goods you have to go early. Sad thing is though, I didn't find much. Not that there wasn't a lot of stuff. It was packed! I just couldn't find what I was looking for. Most of what I REALLY liked was priced beyond my budget for resale. And, the pieces that I did find always seemed to have a SOLD tag. I hate that.

One of those particular pieces was the tall cabinet with the old window. Someone had taken an old window, mouldings and wood trim and fashioned a new cabinet. Excellent! But, sadly for me, it was already SOLD. Arrgh!

However, we did manage to find some of the same wide mouldings that were on both sides of the window at another dealers space so now Bill can whip up a couple of those cabinets himself! Whip one up.....someday. Ha! Add it to the list.

I have to say though, when we got home last night, Bill did draw up the plans for another mirror (only a bit smaller) like the one I showed you a couple of posts ago. I'm hoping he'll have it done by the end of the month. We'll see.

Anyway, though I didn't find much at Coburg (just two things and the mouldings) it was a great time because it was time spent with family. My girl, Brittany went along for the ride too. Bless her heart!!

Today, I'm trying to get back into some sort of working groove. Lack of concentration seems to be a problem with me of late. I have so many projects going and sweet things on my mind. :o)

Focus. Focus is my word for the day. Focus on one thing and get it done. Then move on to another one thing. I'll let you know how that works for me. Ha!!

Warmest Monday bear hugs, Aleta

Saturday, September 6, 2008

One of those weeks!

I'm having one of those weeks that is soooo incredibly weird. Just one example: The other morning we awoke at quarter to seven by a beep from our fire alarm. Fifteen minutes later another beep. Okay, so the fire alarm has gone a little haywire. No smoke. No fire. Bill gets in the shower. I kid you not....the fire alarm went off full tilt two minutes into his shower. It was the most ear piercing shreiking sound from three alarms going off all at once. So here we are running around like chickens (Bill in a towel dripping wet from the shower!)trying to figure out how to turn the darned thing off. Again, no smoke. No fire. Bill in his haste (panic) to get the thing to quit blaring, starts punching numbers on the security system key pad. BAD IDEA. Now the security system is blaring through the house AND the neighborhood. Cripes!! The noise is absolutely deafening. The cats are swinging from the chandeliers and I feel like my head is going to explode. As a last resort, Bill goes to the breaker box and starts shutting everything down. The fire alarm goes off but not the security's still going full bore. Think, think, think. Bill pulls the battery out of the security system. Finally, everything is quiet. Whew.

Now Bill is in a rare mood, and not a good one at that. I have a splitting headache and the cats have jumped from the chandeliers into the closet and won't come out. And so the day goes.

It's not until later in the evening when all the systems are fixed, for some odd reason, I ask Bill what day it is. It turns out that it's the anniversary of his dad's passing. We should have known! Charles always sends along a little note to remind us that he's Do'in Okay. I'm sure he was just laughing his self silly watching us run around like chickens trying to get the alarms to quit sounding off. Good one, Charles. You got us again! You would think we would know by now......something like this happens every year on the same date. ha!

Warmest bear hugs, Aleta

P.S. We had the alarm system guy come out to test the system. It's all good. Just a glitch in the system. Yeah, a glitch named Charles! ;o)

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

A sparkly Pink Wednesday!

I thought I would send you a little sparkle and bling (virtually anyway!) to brighten up your day! Thank you for peeking in on my Pink Wednesday! I'd also like to say thank you for all the lovely posts everyone has been leaving in these past weeks. I want you to know that each note makes me smile. It's a most precious gift and I appreciate each and every one.

Warmest Pink Wednesday bear hugs, Aleta

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

So many projects!

I feel like I spent the weekend running around in circles and didn't get near what I wanted to get accomplished. Oh well. I started a new list this morning!! It's a short week because of the holiday and I have company coming on Friday so I'm really going to have to be disciplined in order to stay on task. It's a good thing my car is in the shop! I won't be tempted to gallivant around like I have been.

I think Bill accomplished more in one day than I did all weekend. Hey, wait a minute. That's why I didn't get my things done!! The King of Distraction was home for four days!! He can derail my day in a blink of an eye. All it takes is, "Babe, can you come out to the garage and tell me if this is what you had in mind?" Off I go and I end up in the garage for a half an hour picking out just the right glass door knobs for a knob rack that needs to go to Monticello. Oiy!

It's all good though. I may not have gotten a thing done but Bill did!! He finished my mirror by putting the antique trim on it. Isn't it fabulous?!!! And hey, there's even enough left over for him to make another mirror!! So, Monticello may see one some point....down the road a piece....someday. ;o) He also got quite a few pieces painted for me for my Halloween display. Aren't those black candle pillars cool? I'll tell you what....I'm really having a dickens of a time parting with some of these things. I love decorating for Halloween and those candle pillars are just the right size........hmmmm. Ha!

By the end of the weekend, Walker had the right idea. Take a snooze. Walker is one cat who really knows how to relax.

Have a supercalifragilistic kind of Monday!! Warmest bear hugs, Aleta

P.S. I'm saving the expialidoscious for tomorrow!!